It's Tuesday now and I feel like I am starting to recover. Up until the competition on Sunday I started to feel rather drained and over-trained, not to mention the stress of competing for the first time in 2 years. It's been a tough year for me since getting back after my knee injury. I started off squatting to put some strength in my legs to support my knee, switched to P90X at the end of February and cut calories from March. Needless to say my body has probably been riddled with cortisol. However, scientists nowadays do say that putting the body through hardship and stress can make you and subsequently your descendants live longer. Who knows, maybe I've just added another 5 years to my lifespan.
On the day of the competition, I went in the car with F-sensei, who kindly drove me there. It was good because I got a bit of insight into his thinking, such as how he dislikes drilling (judo background), his placing of importance on formalities (coming from his complaint of how a visitor to our club never even said goodbye) and his understanding of the BJJ family-man (how we are ruled by restrictions because of having a family and wife).
My match was 3 pm and I arrived there at 9.30 am. In future, I think I will take a train down to the event. Waiting is tough on the mind. I constantly kept switching from doubting myself to knowing I had prepared well over the past 2 months. My stamina was good from lots of 10 min nogi sparring and I was strong from all the pull ups and push ups P90X throws at you. I tried to listen to a podcast but it was impossible over the noise of the crowd. I tried to go outside in the park but couldn't rest my mind.
The match itself was well...5 mins as I am in the Senior 2 category. It's nothing really. I tried to tell myself that the outcome does not matter. I still wanted to win though, oh how I wanted to win to prove to myself that I deserve to be a brown belt. You never quite feel reassured that you are at the correct belt level until you win in a competition - which is why I believe you need to compete at least once at each belt level.
I started the match working for a collar drag, failed and got smashed. However, I recovered. My opponent felt very strong. Strong grips and I couldn't really strip them, although, I am quite good at that. The first 2 minutes I was basically fighting from inferior positions. Until I heard someone in the crowd, later I learned it was Yasuda-san, shouting HALF TIME! I was down 3 points to zero and had to get back. The opponent almost took my back but I managed to turtle tight then reverse him by going around him with my legs to take side control. It was at that point that I felt him break. I mounted with ease and went on to try a baseball bat choke and the Marco Barbosa choke we had learnt in class just that week, these didn't seem to work (people in competition will fight damn hard with chokes) so I switched to my favourite Japanese necktie, which sealed the deal. I really cranked it on too, although in small increments, because he was still resisting.
I had came back from a 3-0 loss and had choked my opponent to submission. I really wanted to get that choke in competition because it is sneaky as hell and has been a great weapon in my arsenal. I got my medal then the folks from Dumau took my photo for free, very professional looking too. Here it is.